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Diversification of ranunculaceous petals in shape supports a generalized model for plant lateral organ morphogenesis and evolution.

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Peltate organs, such as the prey-capturing traps of carnivorous plants and nectary-bearing petals of ranunculaceous species, are widespread in nature and have intrigued and perplexed scientists for centuries. Shifts in the expression domains of adaxial/abaxial genes have been shown to control leaf peltation in some carnivorous plants, yet the mechanisms underlying the generation of other peltate organs remain unclear. Here, we show that formation of various peltate ranunculaceous petals was also caused by shifts in the expression domains of adaxial/abaxial genes, followed by differentiated regional growth sculpting the margins and/or other parts of the organs. By inducing parameters to specify the time, position, and degree of the shifts and growth, we further propose a generalized modeling system, through which various unifacial, bifacial, and peltate organs can be simulated. These results demonstrate the existence of a hierarchical morphospace system and pave the way to understand the mechanisms underlying plant organ diversification.



Plant Leaves, Morphogenesis, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant

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Sci Adv

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American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)